It seems like Floridians must worry about the possibility of storm damage after a serious hurricane every year. Many residents count on their insurance companies to help them negate their losses and rebuild after a hurricane. Nevertheless, thousands of property owners in Florida are still waiting for payments from Hurricane Michael, which struck in October 2018.
In a meeting with Florida Governor Ron Desantis, one of the state's top insurance regulators said that approximately 15% of all claims due to Hurricane Michael have yet to be paid. This amounts to around 21,000 claims still waiting to be settled. Most of them originated in the panhandle region, an area hit especially hard by Hurricane Michael.
A high number of claims remain unpaid despite the fact that Florida law requires insurance companies to settle within 90 days of a claim. That deadline can only be extended if the claim is contested. The state's Office of Insurance Regulation Commissioner said the news about unpaid insurance claims is "discouraging."
Unfortunately, many in Florida are now seeing firsthand how some insurance companies stall or try to deny payment. That doesn't mean they are not left without a course of action. There is sometimes a remedy under the law for bad faith insurance claims.
Those who have been denied hurricane damage claims or are still waiting on payment may have no other recourse than to take legal action. When doing so, using an attorney who is familiar with how insurance companies operate can be very useful. Such a lawyer could guide a client through the legal process.